* 1. Bad Chemistry * 2. Shogun of Harlem * 3. Lost in the City * 4. I Met a Girl and Now Sheâs Gone * 5. Vigilante * 6. Directory of Broken Hearts * 7. Down and Out (and Back Up Again) * 8. Wreckage in My Mind * 9. Friends with the School Bully * 10. Cheap Lipstick on a Million Dollar Face * 11. Things are Strange * 12. Look Inside Your Love * 13. Pedestrian Blues * 14. Directory...Revisited
This disk marked a return to music after a long absence from it. I was living in Boston at the time I wrote many of these songs working a series of jobs, living life, just kind of doing my thing. 1999 marked the end of a rather personally tumultuous year and from there songs started coming to me again. Ideas began coming to me at a rapid rate and I got a hold of a Roland VS-880 digital 8-track recorder and set about putting an album together. After a lot of vicious trail and error I got together what I thought was a pretty solid set of songs.
All in all itâs pretty lo-fi but the songs are there, which is all I care about anyway. I donât think my songs have ever required a big Mutt Lange-style production. I felt by taking this approach I was making a statement, letting people know that my limitations werenât going to stop me from making music.
I called the project âThe Criswell Sevenâ combining the sci-fi names of âThe Amazing Criswellâ (from Ed Woodâs movies) and âGary Sevenâ from STAR TREK. At this point I was afraid of calling myself âChris Neriâ and being a solo guy, so I hid behind a band name. Lots of folks have done this and I thought I would too. I called it âThe Bootcamp Sessionsâ because I thought of doing this record as a way of remaking myself as a musician and songwriter. It was about breaking down what I was before and building something bigger and stronger. For a first album itâs flawed in places but the strength of the songs I think carry it.